Food & Drink

How Chef Ann Kim Makes a Lobster Roll

The Garden & Gun Club executive chef shares her secrets to a rich, indulgent sandwich with all the trimmings


When it comes to lobster rolls, Ann Kim is a bit of an aficionado. “In most restaurants, they’re usually served dressed or ‘naked’ with butter,” she says. “But I love both.” Kim, who is the executive chef of the Garden & Gun Club in Atlanta, brought the techniques together when developing her own lobster roll for the restaurant. The result: a decadent sandwich that’s truly the best of both worlds. “The roll is dressed in a nice creamy sauce on a buttered, toasted bun, along with a side of butter,” she says. “It’s tough to beat that.”

photo: Amy Sinclair
Ann Kim.

For the dressing, Kim riffed on a classic comeback sauce, adapted from a recipe in G&G’s The Southerner’s Cookbook, that also gets slathered on the popular Club Burger. Augmented with a splash of lemon and an extra dollop of Duke’s mayo, the sauce thickens and brightens, complementing the sweetness of the lobster meat. According to Kim, consistency is key: “Lobster is high in water content, which will thin out the sauce, so make it slightly thicker than you might normally like.” From there, the recipe leaves plenty of room for adaptation. “The roll is best with fresh lobster, but cooking a live lobster can be a little intimidating, so pre-cooked Maine lobster meat is another great option.” In a pinch, however, the chef encourages home cooks to substitute as needed: shrimp, lump crab, or any pan-seared white fish will work just as well. 

When you’re ready to serve, pile the dressed lobster into a high-quality, New England–style hot dog bun—when in doubt, “Martin’s potato rolls make a great substitute,” says Kim— sprinkle with your garnish of choice, and don’t forget a ramekin of melted butter. An equally tempting side doesn’t hurt, either: “If you’re going to be indulgent with the sandwich, why not be indulgent with some fries too?” the chef adds. “Finish them off with parmesan or truffle oil and really go all-in.” 


The Garden & Gun Club at the Battery Atlanta is currently open for takeout orders. Visit the Club’s website for more information or see the takeout menu here.


Ingredients

  • For the sauce:

    • 1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise

    • 1 tbsp. grated or jarred horseradish

    • 2 tbsp. whole grain mustard

    • 2 stalks celery, diced

    • 1 ½ tsp. shallots, diced

    • ½ tsp. garlic, minced

    • 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped

    • 1 tbsp. cornichons, chopped

    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

    • 1 ½ tsp. capers, drained

    • ¾ tsp. kosher salt

    • ¼ tsp. black pepper, ground

    • ⅛ tsp. cayenne

  • For the sandwich:

    • 2 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced

    • 2 tbsp. shallots, finely chopped

    • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

    • 1 lb. cooked lobster meat

    • 4 New England–style hot dog buns

    • Salt

  • For garnish:

    • Lemon, for zesting

    • Espelette peppers

    • Chives, sliced thin

    • 1 lb. butter, clarified

    • Lemon wedges


Preparation

  1. For the sauce: Add all ingredients for the sauce to a food processor and mix until smooth and combined. 

  2. For the sandwich: In a large bowl, combine the celery, shallots, half of the sliced chives, and the lobster meat with 6 ounces of the sauce and a couple pinches of salt. Mix, taste, and add more salt if needed. Set aside.

  3. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Toast both sides of the bun in butter until golden brown. 

  4. Fill each bun with lobster mixture (you may have some left over). Garnish with freshly grated lemon zest, a pinch of espelette peppers, and sliced chives. Serve with the clarified butter, divided between four ramekins, and lemon wedges.